After 327 days of detaining the body of Martyr Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, he gets buried in the city of Jerusalem 
August 30, 2016

After detaining the body of 19-year old Martyr Thaer Abdel Salam Abu Ghazaleh for 327 days in the occupation’s freezers at Abu Kbeir Institute, the occupation authorities released his body on Tuesday early morning to be buried in Al-Mujahedeen Cemetery in Salah Eddin Street in the city of Jerusalem where he was born. The Martyr’s family took a final look at their son and buried him under unprecedented restrictions and procedures.

Conditions of releasing the Martyr’s body

Martyr Thaer Abu Ghazaleh is the longest Martyr detained in the occupation’s freezers and second overall Martyr of the latest popular uprising. He passed away on October 8th after being shot under the pretext of stabbing a female soldier in the city of Tel Aviv using a screwdriver in addition to an attempt to steal her weapon.

After Monday midnight, the occupation authorities released the Martyr’s body to his family near the gate of the cemetery in the presence of only 25 family members and conditioned the family to deposit 20 thousand NIS to ensure commitment to the rules.

Unprecedented procedures

The occupation authorities turned the streets of Jerusalem leading to Al-Mujahedeen Cemetery into a “military camp” and deployed their Special Forces in the areas of Herod’s Gate, Damascus Gate, Salah Eddin Street and Wadi Al-Joz. Several streets were closed with iron barriers and red tape and were evacuated from pedestrians and press crews. The forces threatened not to release the Martyr’s body if people continue to be present in the area; they also ascended the roofs of buildings overlooking the cemetery.

The occupation forces closed Herod’s Gate –one of the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem- and prevented the Martyr’s family members from exiting towards the cemetery. The family said: “While we were exiting through Herod’s Gate towards the cemetery before midnight when the body was supposed to be released according to the agreement, the occupation Special Forces stopped and forced us to go back. They also closed Herod’s Gate for nearly two hours and prevented us from exiting until 1 p.m.”

Witnesses explained that the occupation forces pushed a group of young men and prevented them from exiting through Herod’s Gate and evacuated press crews by force.

Targeting journalists

The occupation forces targeted press crews who were in the area to cover the releasing of the Martyr’s body. The forces made them leave the areas of Herod’s Gate and Salah Eddin Street and forced them to stay in the area of Lions Gate. They established iron barriers in the area where press crews were kept in order to prevent them from going back to the cemetery’s area.

Preventing the establishment of a funeral tent for the Martyr

The occupation intelligence called the Martyr’s family and informed them about an order banning them from establishing a funeral tent for the Martyr at his house in the Old City of Jerusalem.

After performing a prayer to the Martyr’s body and burying him, the occupation forces prevented journalists from heading to the Martyr’s house to conduct interviews with family members following an order from a police officer who also checked the IDs of young men and threatened to arrest them if they go to the Martyr’s house.

Martyr’s mother

Abeer Abu Ghazaleh, the Martyr’s mother, said: “My son’s body was in a good condition. We received it at the cemetery’s gate in the presence of dozens of soldiers. I took the final look at Thaer and put soil and flowers on him.”

Continuing to detain the bodies of 13 Martyrs in the occupation’s freezers

After releasing the body of Martyr Abu Ghazaleh, the occupation authorities continue to detain the bodies of 13 Palestinians Martyrs that passed away during the most recent popular uprising. Among them are three Jerusalemites Martyrs; Baha’ Alayan Abdel Muhsen Hassouneh and Mohammad Abu Khalaf. Five Martyrs are from Hebron, they are: Sara Tarayra, Majd Khdour, Mohammad Tarayra, Mustafa Barad’yeh and Mohammad Faqeeh. Wael Abu Saleh and Ansar Harsheh from Tulkarem, Abdel Hameed Sroor from Bethlehem, Rami Awartani from Nablus and Sari Abu Ghurab from Jenin.